Posted by: jbarnesca | October 30, 2011

RAM Bidders Conferences esp. PG&E

Last week the RAM bidders conferences were held for the first round of the new RAM program in California.  I went to the PG&E version in SF on Friday to talk to other developers, listen to the talk for subtle points, and talk to PG&E and CPUC program leaders about various points going forward with the many programs underway for 2012.

Key Points:

  1. For solar PV the allocation category is 35MW
  2. No program that is in the Cluster #4 grouping will qualify because the Phase 1 studies are delayed so that this requirement will not be met
  3. With a project size allowed of 20MW, I believe there will be two winning bids by the usual companies.  Look at the 3 winners of the PG&E 50MW IPP offering from the spring for instance.

Since it is quite known what a winning bid would have to be, the discussions are purely around the question, “Would you want to be a winner at that rate financially and have to build it in the 24 month time(18 months with 6 month expected extension) window?”

There are some very competent developer groups out there that now have amassed several 20MW projects that need a PPA win.  The present and future RPS process is heavily biased toward larger projects in the 100MW size range, so the RAM programs were expected to be the proper place for those projects to win PPA agreements.  In 2009 there were 20MW Utility RFO program winners, so those projects are hot projects on the acquisition circuit at this moment, as they must be built by 2013 in general and have high PPA rates compared to those in play now.

The expected fall out of some developers and consolidation will take care of part of this problem in the upcoming years, I suspect.

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